Delivery was the only method to maintain sales versus a year ago, and the downward pressures were more present in grocery formats than in mass, according to new research from Brick Meets Click.

“When it comes to shopping online – especially for delivery or pickup – cost considerations include more than the price paid for a basket of products,” said David Bishop, partner at Brick Meets Click. “Many customers also evaluate the total cost associated with using the service, which can include special charges, standard fees, and tips. And, when comparing the total of these costs to the customer, there’s a sizable gap in favor of mass versus grocery.”

This increased focus on cost may be influencing where and how grocery’s customers receive online orders and motivating some of them to shift trips to mass – especially those who already shop online with both formats.

In November, the cross-shopping rate between grocery and mass, which measures the share of grocery MAUs who also shopped online for groceries with mass during the same period, grew 6 percentage points versus a year ago to 30%.

Delivery was the only segment that posted a gain in the average order value (AOV), climbing 4% compared to November 2021. In contrast, pickup and ship-to-home both finished 5% lower than last year.

Overall order frequency rates declined just under 4% versus the prior year. This aggregate decline was the result of contracting demand in the ship-to-home segment offset by pickup being flat and delivery growing in the low single digits. Order frequency by format also showed divergent year-over-year trend.

“Given that many shoppers are becoming more cost conscious, grocers should consider offering a tiered fee structure based on when a customer wants to receive their order and reduce some of the additional costs customers face when shopping online,” stated Sylvain Perrier, president and chief executive officer at Mercatus.